The first large review study of low-carbohydrate diets reveals that people on diets of 60 or fewer grams of carbohydrates a day (a threshold used in some of the popular low-carbohydrate diets) did lose weight. But the weight loss was associated with restriction of caloric intake and longer diet duration, not with reduced carbohydrate intake.
“Low-carbohydrate diets have been extremely popular as of late, and the lay press has suggested they’re a safe and effective means of weight loss,” said lead author Dena Bravata, MD. “While these diets are effective in the short term, weight loss results from reduced calories, not carbohydrate restriction.”
“The findings suggest that if you want to lose weight, you should eat fewer calories and do so over a long time period” stressed Dr. Bravata.
As part of the analysis, investigators from Stanford University Medical Center and Yale University reviewed a total of 107 diet studies, which involved 3,268 people from around the world.
JAMA – April 9, 2003;289:1837-50. http://jama.ama-assn.org/